Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Finally a little traveling is in the works!

Its tricky to work out a schedule when traveling. But its exciting, I feel like I haven't been outside Columbia in an age. I have two very different trips planned in the next two weeks. One is to the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, FL to meet with my bosses research collaborator next week; along with my boss as well as a student in my lab. 

Before that I'm heading North-West to Asheville, NC especially to run. To anyone who has just started reading my blog I've signed up for a marathon there at the end of September. 
Originally I was going to run a half-marathon race this weekend in Fayetteville, NC. That was cancelled, so I decided to run the last half of the marathon course in Asheville instead. I figure that will give me an idea of what the course is like and help me pace myself in the first half of the race, knowing whats to come in the second. Mentally I think knowing the second half will help too...I won't round a corner to a huge hill and go "f**k that I'm quitting" if I already know its coming and yes that would be my exact language...us Irish are not as polite as mannerly Southerners.
I'm staying at a KOA campground up there, so I'm hoping it'll be good and puppy will let me sleep. My schedule has a half-marathon down for the Sunday but I'm gonna do it on Saturday. There are a ton of state and national parks near Asheville and I really want to go hike to some of the waterfalls. I don't think I'd do that if I was worried about running the next day. I will take a lot of pictures...be prepared.

Florida is a bit of a mixed bag. I've never been. I'm excited about ticking another state off the list (I want to visit them all, 9 down many to go). However, it is a work trip. So it could be great...meet, network, talk some science, go to the beach...or it could be one of those many occasions when I feel out of my depth with so many super smart people...who knows. Again lots of pictures will be taken.
For both trips I plan to run in the morning since I have no idea what I'll be up to for most of the day/evening, especially in FL.

I ran 3 miles last night, that is currently the shortest distance I run now (crazy!!). I've been talking a lot about pacing myself, thanks for the suggestions I got. Last night I finally broke out my Garmin Forerunner and worked out my heart rate zones. Delighted that my resting heart rate is 45 bpm. To train in an anaerobic zone I needed to run at 80-90% of my maximum HR. This is meant to help with speed. By the time I was done my watch almost ended up in the river. 
Firstly with the many thunderstorms the river is really high and a section of the riverwalk was flooded (only a small one) that stops you from reaching the longest stretch of it. I had to double back after less than half a mile and get out onto the sidewalk along the road (I'm sick of these roads). The staring by the men carrying out road resurfacing also didn't help my mood (maybe if they were attractive it'd boost my ego but ugly old men staring is just creepy). BEEP, BEEP, BEEP and on screen "Heart rate low"......with the stopping at lights I don't know how many times I heard that stupid beeping (it does it many times not just once) by the end of it I was BLEEPing lol! 

From how I felt, I seem to be pretty good at pacing myself when trying to do speed work. Its hard to run within that zone (i.e. I'd find it hard to talk let alone say hi to someone) but I could sustain it for 3 miles. I ended up doing a 5k in around 26 minutes..close enough to my fastest time. I'm going to try run most of my other runs in the aerobic zone (def. Wednesdays and Saturdays..longer runs). I'm hoping that doesn't mean I have to run at a snails pace. However when temperatures drop a little my HR might drop slightly.

 From my internet browsing it seems that building up a really good aerobic base is one of the most important things you can do for endurance training. >95% of what you need to run a marathon comes from aerobic metabolism, specifically fat burning. By running at this pace for my longer runs, I hope to improve my aerobic base and teach my body to burn fat more efficiently for the marathon. Your pace within a certain heart rate zone is meant to get faster as you build a good base. I'm hoping between the aerobic slow runs and the anaerobic fast ones, I'll be ready by September and my easy pace will be a touch faster.


At the end of next week I will officially be at the half-way point in my training. I have to say I've trained for shorter races and hated it. I'm not dying yet with this one. I think my previous years of running are doing me good, no matter how inconsistant they've been. I've dropped a couple of pounds but I think thats mostly down to how strict I'm being on any particular week with my food. No injuries so far (touch wood) other than the occasional niggle from my IT band. I'm also much better at running hills. Feeling good..long may it continue.

For the rest of this week:
Today          6 miles
Tomorrow   3 miles
Saturda       13.1 miles
Sunday       Crosstrain (Hiking)



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